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What drugs do the cartels traffic?

Many of these countries are transit countries for cocaine bound for the main consumer markets in North America and Europe. For the North American market, cocaine is typically transported from Colombia to Mexico or Central America by sea and then onwards by land to the United States and Canada.

Mexico drug cartels migrate to Caribbean: leaders

Colombia remains the main source of the cocaine found in Europe, but direct shipments from Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia are far more common than in the US market. The relative importance of Colombia seems to be in decline.


In a number of other European countries, Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia seem to be the primary source countries of cocaine. The Regional Programme for Central America is the result of an in-depth consultation process fully supported by Member States of the region.

Medellin, Colombia

Representatives of the States at the Ministerial Conference also presented their national priorities and requested UNODC to provide state-of-the-art advisory services and technical assistance in order to design and implement an appropriate answer to the problems of drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime. In the final declaration of the Managua Ministerial Meeting, Member States also endorsed the creation of Centres of Excellence in the region, which will gather the existing expertise in Central America and leverage it to deliver highly successful programmes and projects.

The objectives are to i facilitate the coordination of regional and national policies in the field of organized crime and drug trafficking, ii develop an analysis capacity of organized crime and drug trafficking trends in the two regions, iii ensure an exchange of information amongst the partners of the mechanism and avoid duplication between technical assistance projects, iv assist countries in implementing the UN conventions on organized crime UNTOC , corruption UNCAC and the three drugs conventions, and implement effective anti-organized crime policies.

Establishment of a treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration network in Central America.

Accessibility links

There, a large Dominican diaspora sells the drugs, even going down to retail level. This means that the Dominicans now control a large number of links in the drug chain, and are able to maximize their profits from each kilogram of drugs. Dominicans, working with Colombian and Mexican cartels, are also acting as intermediaries for international mafias looking to secure large cocaine loads. International intelligence agencies in Santo Domingo have flagged the growing presence of Russian organized crime figures.

The culture on this Caribbean island is a lot like that in Venezuela, so they feel right at home.

Wealthy Venezuelans have long invested in vacation homes and other properties in the Dominican Republic. As they sought to protect their assets from possible seizure back home, investment increased. But few Venezuelans actually took up residence on the island. They generally established medium-sized service companies and got jobs as professionals. Several Dominican sources pointed out that Venezuelans linked to the Maduro government are buying up luxury villas in top-notch resorts such as Casa de Campo in La Romana, possibly purchased with ill-gotten gains from the drug trade or the kleptocratic sacking of state coffers.

US sources stated that Venezuelan criminal structures are now present in the Dominican Republic, working with their Dominican, Mexican and Colombian counterparts.

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They were originally arrested in Haiti, next door to the Dominican Republic, where they had been flown in a plane piloted by a member of the Venezuela National Guard. Once there, they intended to receive a down payment for a drug deal, which was going to involve cocaine allegedly provided by the largely demobilized Colombian rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — FARC.

At the end , 10 drug traffickers were captured on a Lear jet arriving in the Dominican Republic carrying kilograms of cocaine.

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Airplanes were sent without cargo from Mexico to the Venezuelan state of Apure, which borders Colombia. Lamas was extradited to the United States in July On average, Venezuelans who have ingested drugs bring in a kilogram of cocaine, or if they are carrying it in a suitcase, an average of five kilograms, said the same source.

Interdiction across the Caribbean is tough. The go-fast boats usually depart at dusk, and then as the sun rises, they throw blue-green tarpaulins over the boats, making them all but invisible.

Regional focus

When darkness falls again they continue their journey. When they get near the Dominican Republic, they are met by Dominican traffickers at sea, who transfer the loads. The mainly Venezuelan crews then return back to the South American mainland. And the process is repeated. The longer this cocaine pipeline remains active, the more sophisticated and powerful Dominican and Venezuelan DTOs will become.

The Dominican Republic is no longer just a trans-shipment point, but a venue where international mafias can purchase large drug consignments.